Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Former soldier Hugh Harris is a “hāfu”—half-Japanese, half-American—and, after his father’s death, he returns to Kobe, Japan, in order to connect with his mother and her family. Confused and feeling out of place, Hugh finds work as a waiter at an upscale nightclub. The other employees, an odd and eclectic bunch, quickly make him feel at home, especially the bartender, Ren, and the club host, Kaito.
But the tranquility doesn’t last forever. As Hugh gets deeper into his relationships with both men, he finds they may have dubious connections with the yakuza in town… and when the local street leaders send their enforcers to the Dusk Parlor, Hugh, Ren, and Kaito may be in for a storm of trouble.
This was a nice story and the author did a pretty good job of explaining the thought process of those in Japan but I was still with Hugh in being frustrated in how those around him were thinking. Hugh and his mother have just moved to Japan after his father’s death and he is having a hard time finding work and people who won’t judge him based on his heritage. When Ren and Kaito give him the opportunity to work at the Dusk Parlor he is determined to show that he can be just as good as everyone there.
Ren is a complete flirt from the get go but we soon learn that Kaito and him have a secret little relationship going. When Hugh discovers this he can’t help but desire them both together. We see everything through Hugh’s eyes which makes understanding him pretty easy but it’s harder to really understand what the others are thinking as many in that culture are closed off. There is a nice HFN ending with Hugh, Ren and Kaito and I can’t help but hope that Hugh will continue to bring Kaito out of his shell.
Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is a great and gives a wonderful visual of Hugh.
ebook, 86 pages
Published: May 3, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English
Series: A World of Love Story